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What is the 1 cookie in the US?

Cookies are a beloved treat for many across the United States. With so many different varieties and flavors available, cookies are a staple snack food for people of all ages. From classic chocolate chip to more unique options like black and white cookies or biscotti, it can be difficult to determine which cookie ranks as the top seller in the US.

What Makes a Top Selling Cookie?

There are a few key factors that help a cookie rise above the competition to become the number one seller:

  • Mass appeal – The cookie has a universal flavor, texture, or format that appeals to a wide range of consumers across demographics
  • Availability – The cookie is widely available across grocery stores, convenience stores, bakeries, and other outlets
  • Affordability – The cookie is reasonably priced for most consumers
  • Brand recognition – The cookie is produced by a recognizable brand people know and trust
  • Nostalgia – The cookie evokes feelings of comfort, childhood memories, or Americana
  • Innovation – The cookie has some unique twist of flavor, texture, or ingredient that makes it stand out from the competition

The top selling cookie often leads in several of these categories to help it dominate overall cookie sales.

Factors Driving Cookie Sales

The cookie market as a whole totaled over $7 billion in sales in 2021 according to statistics portal Statista. What’s driving these impressive cookie sales overall? Here are some key factors:

  • Convenience – Cookies are a grab-and-go snack that require no preparation and can be eaten on the go
  • Taste – People love the comforting, indulgent flavors of cookies like chocolate, peanut butter, and sugar
  • Nostalgia – Cookies remind people of home baking and childhood treats
  • Pairings – Cookies go great with milk, coffee, ice cream enhancing their appeal
  • Variety – With so many flavors, formats and recipes, there’s a cookie for every taste
  • Holidays – Cookies are a staple food gift and treat around the holidays
  • Innovation – Cookie makers keep introducing exciting new flavors, ingredients and packaging

These drivers showcase why cookies are a staple American food with mass consumer appeal. But which cookie takes the #1 spot for sales?

The Top Cookie in the US

Based on sales data, consumer surveys and polls, the chocolate chip cookie leads as the top selling cookie in the United States.

Key facts about the chocolate chip cookie:

  • Originated in the 1930s in Massachusetts
  • Toll House is the top selling brand of chocolate chip cookies
  • Over 2 billion chocolate chip cookies are eaten annually in the US
  • They account for over 20% of cookie sales overall
  • Americans ranked the chocolate chip cookie their #1 cookie in surveys

So what is it that makes the chocolate chip cookie such a dominant force in the cookie market?

Why Chocolate Chip Cookies Rank #1

There are several key factors contributing to chocolate chip cookies being the top seller:

Universal appeal – The combination of chocolate with a classic cookie dough delivers something that appeals to almost all taste preferences. Both chocolate lovers and cookie lovers find satisfaction.

Use of chocolate – Chocolate is one of the most craved flavors globally and the abundant chocolate chips deliver intense chocolate in every bite.

Texture – The soft and chewy texture alongside the crunchy chocolate chips is satisfying and addictive for cookie fans.

Nostalgia – Chocolate chip cookies are baked in American homes everywhere, evoking nostalgic feelings for many. Toll House is credited for inventing the recipe.

Pairings – From pairing with milk to using in ice cream sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies complement other foods and beverages.

Innovation – Chocolate chip cookie makers keep innovating with new add-ins and flavors that maintain interest.

Brand recognition – Established brands like Toll House, Mrs. Fields and Famous Amos are known for their chocolate chip cookies.

The universal familiarity and appeal of chocolate chip cookie flavor, texture and experience make this cookie a consistent top seller year over year.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sales

To showcase just how popular chocolate chip cookies are, here’s a breakdown of estimated annual chocolate chip cookie sales in the US:

Total Annual Sales $2+ billion
Total Number Sold Annually Over 2 billion cookies
Average Number Sold Per American Per Year 9 cookies
Average Price Per Cookie $1.35
% of Total Cookie Market 22% market share

Based on these statistics, the chocolate chip cookie accounts for over 1 out of every 5 cookie sales in the United States. The volume of units sold showcases just how massively popular the chocolate chip variety is with Americans.

Interestingly, global data on chocolate chip cookies shows similar trends:

Global Annual Sales $5+ billion
Global Annual Units Sold Over 5 billion
Global Market Share 18%

The chocolate chip cookie also claims the #1 cookie spot globally based on total sales and units sold. America did invent the recipe, after all!

Top Brands of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Within the chocolate chip cookie market, there are certain brand names that rise to the top. Here are some of the top national brands for chocolate chip cookies:

  • Toll House – Originator of the chocolate chip cookie recipe and most popular brand
  • Famous Amos – Known for unique, crunchy chocolate chip cookies
  • Mrs. Fields – Beloved for soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies
  • Chips Ahoy! – Iconic brand offers traditional chocolate chip cookies
  • Nabisco – Makes the popular Oreo chocolate chip cookies
  • Pillsbury – Refrigerated dough helps home bakers make fresh cookies
  • Pepperidge Farm – Offers distinctive, high-end chocolate chip cookies

These major brands dominate grocery store shelves and capture significant chocolate chip market share. Local and gourmet bakery brands also play a role in the landscape.

Innovations in Chocolate Chip Cookies

One reason chocolate chip cookies maintain such strong sales is ongoing innovation by cookie brands rolling out exciting new takes on the classic cookie:

  • New chocolate varieties – Dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate chip cookie doughs provide more variety
  • Flavor infusions – Cinnamon, coffee, peanut butter and more flavors added to dough or chips
  • Textures – Chewy cookies, cake-like cookies, thin and crispy offer texture changes
  • Add-ins – Nuts, pretzels, toffee and candy mix-ins provide taste and crunch
  • Seasonal flavors – Pumpkin spice, peppermint and other seasonal flavors keep cookies interesting
  • Creative shapes – Chocolate chip cookies offered in shapes like hearts, dinosaurs and more

Cookie lovers never get bored thanks to new takes on the traditional chocolate chip cookie entering the market. Yet the classic chocolate chip still remains iconic.

Challengers for the Top Cookie Spot

While chocolate chip cookies command the #1 spot currently, there are some challengers with the potential to disrupt the rankings:

Oreo Cookies

The Oreo cookie, with its signature chocolate wafers and creme filling, is the second best-selling cookie brand in the world. Oreo has expanded into many formats like Double Stuf and chocolate chip Oreos. With its popularity and innovation, Oreo has potential to someday surpass chocolate chip. Global annual Oreo sales are over $2 billion.

Sugar Cookies

Another classic, the simple sugar cookie offers comforting flavor and a canvas for decorating. Around holiday seasons, creatively decorated sugar cookies gain significant sales. Sugar cookies could experience a sales surge with wider availability of decorating tools and customization.

Health-focused Cookies

As nutrition becomes more top-of-mind for consumers, cookies made with natural ingredients, whole grains or less sugar have breakout potential. Brands like Fiber One and Nature’s Bakery are disrupting the market with smarter cookies. A healthier take on a classic cookie may strike a chord with health-conscious consumers.

Artisanal and Gourmet Cookies

Premium cookies from smaller bakeries with unique flavor combinations and high-quality ingredients also present competition. Consumers willing to pay more for an elevated cookie experience may shift interest to gourmet, artisanal cookie makers.

The Outlook for Chocolate Chip Cookies

While the challengers present strong competition, the future still looks bright for chocolate chip cookies maintaining the top spot as America’s favorite cookie:

  • Nostalgia and tradition will continue driving chocolate chip cookie love
  • Ongoing innovation will keep the classic cookie feeling fresh
  • Cookie makers will respond to nutrition concerns with dark chocolate, whole grain and less sugar options
  • Limited edition and seasonal offerings will attract new interest
  • Gourmet and artisanal cookies appeal to a different customer than classic chips ahoy

The winning combination of nostalgia, versatility and ongoing innovation will be difficult for any newcomer to surpass. The chocolate chip cookie sitting proudly atop the American cookie market is poised to continue dominating for years to come.


The chocolate chip cookie has secured its place as the top selling cookie in America. Thanks to its universal appeal, taste, texture and nostalgia, the chocolate chip cookie leads in sales volume and consumer preference. Brands like Toll House, Mrs. Fields and Famous Amos will look to maintain dominance through innovation, while challengers like Oreo and premium bakeries make a play for the top spot. Still, the unique formula of the chocolate chip cookie makes it a hard treat to beat. For now, the chocolate chip remains #1 in Americans’ hearts and cookie jars.